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The End of Belgium As We Know It: From Consociational Democracy to Partitocratic Deadlock?

  • Caroline Van WynsbergheEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

The terrorist attacks of March 2016 have rekindled the controversy about Belgian mismanagement. Among various explanations, the most credible ones put a stress on the federal and decentralized structure of the country. Except from the promoters of a strong centralized State, the problem is not ideological, but it should rather be linked to the system as it is working in Belgium. It does indeed not allow identifying clear person (or authority) in charge. In other words, the Belgian logic of devolution lacks of accountability. This paper is structured on two points. Firstly, it returns to the gradual transformation of a unitary State into an original dual federal structure. Secondly, it puts a stress on the major role played by political actors, altering what should be a typical federal chain of delegation. In this context we question the consociational roots of the federation and we consider the possibility that a post-federal Belgium would quite simply reproduce the partitocratic mechanisms implemented so far.

Keywords

Federalism Conflict-management Political parties 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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